Dental Hygiene diploma
Dental hygiene is a health service profession concerned primarily with the prevention of oral disease and the promotion of optimum oral health. The dental hygienist is an integral member of the health care team and strives to improve oral health by providing preventive services and educational information to the public. As a licensed professional, the dental hygienist’s scope of practice is regulated by the College of Dental Hygienists of British Columbia. The dental hygiene process of care encompasses assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation, and evaluation.
Registered dental hygienists work in various settings, including general and specialty dental offices, dental hygiene practices, residential care facilities, hospitals, community health agencies, dental sales and marketing, and educational institutions. The scope of dental hygiene practice continues to expand with increased opportunities for employment in non-traditional settings. Registered dental hygienists in B.C. may also practice as self-employed contractors or as independent owners if they meet conditions for self-employment and current tax laws.
The UFV Dental Hygiene diploma program prepares individuals for the full scope of dental hygiene practice in British Columbia and other provinces, including the administration of local anesthetic. The program is fully accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation of Canada (CDAC) and will move to a new, fully equipped dental clinic in 2012. In addition, the pre-professional year provides the foundation for success in a variety of practice settings, as well as the ability to transition easily to baccalaureate education.
Graduates of the program will have the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values to prepare for successful completion of the National Dental Hygiene Certification Examination (NDHCE) and to function within the scope of dental hygiene practice according to the Regulations of the College of Dental Hygienists of British Columbia. Successful completion of the NDHCE is required to be eligible for registration and licensure with the College of Dental Hygienists of British Columbia and to practice as a Registered Dental Hygienist in B.C., and provides the opportunity to obtain registration and licensure in other provinces and countries.
UFV Dental Hygiene diploma graduates may apply to the University of British Columbia (UBC) to complete the fourth (final) year of the Bachelor of Dental Science (Dental Hygiene) program. For more information regarding the BDSc program as well as admission requirements and deadlines, please consult the UBC Faculty of Dentistry website at dentistry.ubc.ca. Dental Hygiene diploma graduates may also apply to Thompson Rivers University (TRU) to complete the Bachelor of Health Science program. For more information regarding the BHSc program, admission requirements and deadlines, please consult the TRU website at tru.ca.
The UFV Dental Hygiene diploma program is a two year, full-time program offered over six semesters.
All Dental Hygiene classes will be offered on the Chilliwack campus. Observational experiences also occur in a variety of
community settings and agencies off campus.
Courses are offered in a variety of formats including group work, independent study, multi-media approaches, seminar, lab and clinical simulation.
During the program, students will be assigned to practice sessions where they will perform various clinical dental hygiene care, including local anesthesia, on each other. Students must be fully prepared to be a patient in these practice sessions.
Classroom experiences may include evening scheduling. Clinical experiences may include extended work days, evenings, and weekends.
The Dental Hygiene program is very demanding. Students should plan to set aside time for several hours of homework every evening. Additional time on the weekend to manage course work will also be required. It is strongly recommended that students do not work either full- or part-time while in this program.
The following factors contribute to success in this program:
Effective time-management skills
Meticulous attention to detail
The ability to multi-task under time restrictions
Command of the English language
Strong communication skills
• Self-direction and accountability
• Willingness and ability to work as part of a team
• Neatness and good grooming
Academic entrance requirements
Completion of first year university-level courses (30 credits minimum)
with proof of a minimum letter grade of "C+" or higher in each of the following
(it is strongly suggested that these university-level courses have been
completed within five years prior to enrollment):
a. Human Anatomy and Physiology (with weekly labs); KPE 270 (see Note) and KPE 370 or equivalent
b. CHEM 113 and CHEM 114 or equivalent (with weekly labs)
c. MATH 104 or MATH 106 or PSYC 110
d. ENGL 105 and one of ENGL 120 to 170
e. PSYC 101 and PSYC 102 or equivalent
f. One elective, if necessary to reach 30 credits
Note: The prerequisite for KPE 270 is either KPE 170 or both BIO 111 and BIO 112; as of September 2013, KPE 170 will be a required prerequisite.
Other entrance requirements
1. A minimum of 40 documented hours of observational experience in a dental office or a
minimum 150 hours of current (within two years prior to enrollment) work
experience as a Certified Dental Assistant.
2. Two reference letters (work reference and personal reference).
3. A satisfactory interview with the program Admissions Committee, who will assess:
a. Knowledge of and motivation towards a career as a dental
b. Financial preparation;
c. Communication skills;
d. Experience with people in the health-care field as a volunteer
4. Current Standard First Aid certificate (includes Basic Rescuer – Level C certificate). Certification must be upgraded to Health-Care Provider during the program.
5. Identification documents: birth certificate and if applicable, documents showing landed immigrant status, marriage certificate, and
verification of name change.
6. Successful completion of a security clearance check. Criminal records check forms will be provided on acceptance to the program.
7. Attendance at an Information Session in preparation for entry into the
program. You will be asked to write an essay at the information session explaining why you want to become a dental hygienist.
8. Signed medical certificate indicating physical fitness and emotional
stability. (Form will be provided at information session.)
9. Current immunization record. The Hepatitis
B immunization will be required after entry into the program, but may be
completed prior to entering the program. (Form will be provided at information
10. Signed Dental Oral Health certificate. (Form will be provided at
Admission to the UFV Dental Hygiene Diploma program is on a competitive entry basis. Meeting the minimum requirements will not necessarily guarantee acceptance into the program.
Students who do not meet these requirements might consider the Science Studies
When to apply
Applications are accepted on a continuous basis throughout the year.
Qualified applicants are considered for the next intake (one intake every second year in September) in which there is space.
See Continuous application
process for more information.
How to apply
1. The following documents must be submitted to the Admissions and Records
office, along with the application fee in order to process your application:
UFV application form (available at ufv.ca/ar/admissions/apply)
Dental Hygiene application form (which includes instructions regarding the
documentation of your dental office observation/work experience, community
volunteer experience, management/leadership experience, references, and the
essay; available at ufv.ca/ar/forms)
Documented proof of completion of prerequisite courses with a minimum C+ in
Once all these forms and academic documents have been received by the
Admissions and Records office, an application date will be recorded and your
application will be forwarded to the Dental Hygiene program.
2. Submit all remaining documents to the Health Sciences Centre, Chilliwack
Documents required in order to achieve complete applicant status:
UFV application form
Proof of completion of first year university-level courses as outlined
in the academic entrance requirements section
Dental Hygiene program application form which includes:
Two reference letters
Verification of 40 hours of current dental
office observational experience OR minimum 150 hours current experience as a
licensed, practicing CDA
Verification of volunteer experience and/or
management/leadership experience (if applicable)
• Official identity documents: birth certificate and if applicable, documents showing landed immigrant status, marriage certificate, and
verification of name change
Valid Standard First Aid certificate (includes Basic Rescuer
Level C certificate)
Completion of ESL Advanced Speaking, Listening, and Writing course sequence (if required)
3. Attendance at a program information session and interview with the program
Admissions Committee is required for all applicants who have achieved complete status. You
will be contacted when the date for the information session has been
established. The essay will be written at the information session and
you will schedule your interview at that time.
4. Applicants achieving the highest number of points will be given priority
for program seats. If points achieved are equal, date of application to the
program will determine order of acceptance.
5. You will be notified in writing regarding your acceptance. Upon acceptance
to the program, you will be provided with registration information. A deposit is
required by a specified date in order to reserve a seat in the program. This
money will be applied toward your tuition fees. If you do not register for
courses and pay the deposit, your seat will no longer be held for you.
6. If you meet the minimum requirements but are not selected for the class,
your application will be held for consideration for the next intake. If you are
not selected for a second intake, you will be required to re-apply.
Basis for admission decision
Students will be rated based on the points achieved on the applicant rating
form. Points will be awarded for performance on the following:
1. Academic prerequisites: up to 8 points. The higher the applicant GPA on the required
prerequisites, the more points awarded.
2. Work/volunteer experience: up to 6 points. Points will be allocated for additional
relevant dental office work experience according to duration. Volunteer
experience in the community will also be awarded points, again according to the
nature and duration of the experience. (Examples would include coaching a sports
team, youth group leadership, etc.) Both must be above and beyond the required
40 hours of dental office observation or 150 hours of dental office work
experience prerequisite for the program. In addition, evidence of a management
or leadership role in the work force will be rewarded.
3. Persistent efforts to upgrade: up to 1 point. Applicants will be awarded a point for
persistent interest in the program as evidenced by efforts to upgrade, and
4. Letters of reference: up to 2 points per letter, for a maximum of 4 points. Applicants will be awarded points depending on
the content of their letters of reference.
5. Application essay: up to 4 points. Applicants will be awarded points based on their
writing skill and for meeting the designated criteria.
6. Interview: up to 11 points. Applicants will be given points related to their knowledge
of dental hygiene, organizational skills, financial plan, management of
commitments, communication skills, knowledge of their own learning, and
problem-solving skills. The interview is intended to help determine readiness to
enter the program, and reflects the skills necessary to practice dental hygiene.
Applicants with the highest number of points will be given priority for
Fees and additional costs
See the Fees and Other Costs section.
Additional major costs (approximate only subject to change):
1. Textbooks and coursepacks $2200
2. Uniforms, lab coats, safety glasses, duty shoes $500
3. Instruments, lab fees $2800
4. Magnifying eyewear $1500
5. Examination/Professional fees $600 (National Dental Hygiene Certification Board Examination
compulsory for eligibility for licensure in B.C.)
6. Registration with College of Dental Hygienists of B.C. — $1000
Upon completion of the UFV Dental Hygiene diploma program, and prior to practicing as a registered dental hygienist, graduates must register with the College of Dental Hygienists of B.C. (Check the CDHBC website at www.cdhbc.com for more information.)
UFV has a comprehensive financial assistance program including scholarships,
loans and bursaries. Details are available from Financial Aid and Awards.
Standing required for continuance
The dental hygiene courses for each semester are prerequisites for the coursework in the next semester.
To maintain status as a student in the Dental Hygiene program, a 70% (B-) minimum must be achieved in all dental hygiene theory courses. Dental Hygiene clinical courses require a 70% (B-) minimum in the didactic component and a minimum grade of B in the clinical component. Any student who does not receive the minimum grade (70%) for
all courses will be permitted to rewrite a comprehensive exam for one course. If a student fails to achieve the required minimum percentage on their rewrite exam, the student will be required to withdraw from the program.
Students are allowed to rewrite a comprehensive exam for one course only during the entire program. All exam rewrites must be completed prior to the start of the next semester.
Required to withdraw
Students who have been required to withdraw from the Dental Hygiene Diploma program may continue to take course work at UFV but will not be allowed to take any other dental hygiene courses.
Students requesting re-admission to the Dental Hygiene Program must document their request in writing to the program coordinator in the School
of Health Sciences. The letter of request must include a description of the circumstances related to their withdrawal from the program, an explanation of previous areas of difficulty and
an outline of plans to improve their opportunities for successful completion of
Requests for re-admission for either the September or January semester must be received at the Health Sciences Centre by June 1.
The Student Selections Committee will review all re-admission requests and based on faculty recommendations (from the last semester in which the student was enrolled) will decide on the appropriate placement in the program. Factors influencing the final decision for re-admission include availability of seats, length of absence from the program, previous academic achievement (theory and clinical courses) and potential for success.
An interview with the program coordinator is required of all students requesting re-admission. All applicants for re-admission will be informed in writing regarding the decision and conditions for re-entry into the program.
The Dental Hygiene program reserves the right to stipulate conditions for re-admission. Re-admission into the program may necessitate the successful completion of dental hygiene courses previously passed; if in judgment of faculty, the length of absence from the program and/or the reasons for withdrawal would render the applicant inadequately prepared for the subsequent semester.
Appeals for re-admission
Students who fail or withdraw from the dental hygiene program may reapply to the program according to the Dental Hygiene Program Readmission policy.
Standing on re-admission
Each student in the program will receive a UFV Dental Hygiene Program Student Guidelines and Policies manual, which further explains the requirements of the program.
Upon completion of the UFV Dental Hygiene program and prior to practicing as a registered dental hygienist, graduates must write the National Dental Hygiene Certification Examination to be eligible for registration and licensure with the College of Dental Hygienists of British Columbia.
Semester I (Fall)
||Head and Neck
||Clinical Theory and
Semester II (Winter)
for Dental Hygienists
||Oral Embryology and
||Clinical Theory and
Semester III (Summer)
||Oral Pathology I
||Clinical Theory and
Semester IV (Fall)
||Clinical Theory and
Semester V (Winter)
||Clinical Theory and
||Clinical Theory and
For complete details on courses see the
course descriptions section.